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Coronavirus

Independent Experts Discuss Moderna Vaccine

December 17, 2020

WASHINGTON — A second COVID-19 vaccine is moving closer to joining the U.S. fight against the pandemic.

A panel of independent experts is meeting Thursday to discuss the vaccine made by Moderna. The panel’s review for the Food and Drug Administration is the next-to-last step before the agency decides whether the shots can be used on an emergency basis. The FDA staff issued a positive review earlier in the week, confirming the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness.

If the panel gives a thumbs-up, the FDA is expected to give the green light within hours or days. A Pfizer vaccine got the go-ahead last week.

A second vaccine is urgently needed as coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and deaths keep rising in the U.S. ahead of holidays. The U.S. leads the world in grim virus totals, with 1.6 million confirmed cases and more than 307,000 confirmed deaths.

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